Whether you’re a business professional, entrepreneur, traveler, or simply love interacting with people from different cultures, learning a new language can be beneficial in many ways. In the labor market, for instance, being bilingual can give a boost to your resume, and increase your chances of attracting potential employers, especially the ones who are ‘awoken’ to globalization and find opportunities to expand internationally.
Whether you’re planning a trip to Berlin, planning on starting a business there, or seeking employment opportunities in “the country of poets and thinkers”, one thing is for sure. German is nothing close to the hardest language to learn out there, and you can even improve your skills bit by bit while on the go, on your way to and back from work or school.
But how does that work exactly? In this piece, we’ll cover some of the best ways to learn German during your daily commute, so you can perfect your skills sooner than you’d anticipated.
1. Taking Advantage of Closed Captioning on TV Shows
Do you enjoy watching television? If so, consider finding one or several of your favorite shows/movies in German, and use the subtitles provided to ace your language skills. As you watch the show, read along with the text that appears on the screen so you can gain familiarity with pronunciation and spelling.
This can be helpful in many ways, but the idea is pretty straightforward. For instance, if a character utters a word or phrase in German that’s unfamiliar to you, you can always refer back to the translation on screen for clarification.
This is an effective way to absorb the language in written form at your own pace while listening naturally and actively engaging with the narrative context. Additionally, these types of entertaining materials are known to be better teachers than audio-only documents or visual-only books!
2. Leverage the Benefits of Language Learning Apps
Mobile technology has a lot to offer when it comes to learning German – or any other language for that matter– during your daily commute. Many apps and online platforms designed for language learners can provide tailored lessons, as well as conversations and games that help you stay motivated in reaching your goal.
The likes of Lingoda even allow you to take live German courses with professional teachers at your opportune time, whether you’re on a bus, train, or even a taxi. Better yet, some of these platforms use a range of interactive features to make the learning process engaging, more fun, and entertaining.
3. Listen to German Podcasts and Radio Stations
Want another great, unique way to learn “the language of the Teutons”? If so, tune into podcasts and radio stations with German content. You’ll find plenty of speakers who discuss cultural topics ranging from sports, music, comedy, and technology in plain conversation formats that are easy to follow if you know the basics already.
Since most broadcasts are recorded live or updated daily, you can easily set aside some time on your commute and dedicate it to improving your fluency in German over time.
4. Learn German Flashcards during Longer Breaks
If you have some time to spare on your commute, flashcards can be a significantly beneficial tool for language learning. It’s among the best ways to learn actively, quickly, and fluently… especially when traveling longer routes. Flashcards allow you to test yourself, practice what you already know, and catch errors to help improve your understanding.
To learn German using flashcards during your commute, make sure to prepare ahead of time. Write down words and expressions you caught in between two or more separable topics, especially those that seemed a bit challenging to comprehend. They can also be an efficient tool when trying to learn new words, build your vocabulary, or master the conjugation of verbs.
5. Utilize Online Vocabulary Quizzes during Short Stopping Points
Even the most unpredictable pauses during your commute can be beneficial when it comes to learning German! Make use of tools like online quizzes and word games to quickly practice difficult grammar rules or remind yourself of missed out vocabulary items on previous occasions speaking in this foreign language.
Often utilized by many employers who offer courses to employees, quizzes allow you to test your skills in the language continually, paving the way to perfection as you enrich your long-term memory folds with repetition and new information.
6. Practice Conversation through Voice Messaging Apps
Voice messaging apps let you access experts online and have productive conversations right off the bat! For instance, try recording yourself with a microphone as you practice speaking German even when on the go.
From your recording, you can analyze accents and pronunciation with native speakers or instructors in case you’re taking a course. This can be a huge chance to boost your vocabulary and skyrocket your progress toward speaking German confidently!
This would be particularly useful if commuting between destinations takes up most of your daily routine.
German can be indeed trickier to learn compared to the more romantic languages like French and Spanish. But growing your skills in the language can be a walk in the park as long as you have the will and the means.
And considering that every bit of progress counts these days when it comes to language learning, the above few tips can go a long way in helping improve German language skills for any daily commuter.